New Grantland article: Beating the Blitz with the Best

I will be contributing this fall to Bill Simmons’ Grantland, and the first piece is online now. Check out my first piece, about how the best (Rodgers, Brady, Manning) beat the NFL blitz:

Identifying, and developing a quarterback who can play under pressure is a true challenge. As one NFL personnel director told me, while there are 32 starting quarterbacks in the NFL, there aren’t 32 players qualified for their jobs. Throwing motions and mechanics go out the window unless a guy can be accurate under pressure and make great decisions. No one cares how good a quarterback is against air. What matters is: Can he beat the blitz?

Smart Football is still home (and I’ll be sure to link to all the Grantland pieces from here), but I’m very excited to contribute to Grantland this Fall. Look for both NFL and college football centric articles and blog posts throughout the season.

  • Malby

    Awesome! Super excited to read you over at Grantland. Guess I have to be a little nicer about ESPN now…

  • Guest

    Chris congrats on making the “Big Time” … LOL not sure Grantland is that yet but with you on board they better be prepared for their readership to go UP!!

  • Guest

    Chris congrats on making the “Big Time” … LOL not sure Grantland is that yet but with you on board they better be prepared for their readership to go UP!!

  • 4.0 Point Stance

    Congratulations! I’d often wondered why the big media outlets weren’t beating down your door. Grantland will be a good place to post your trademark high-quality pieces without having the pressure of pushing out five articles a day like some of the internet sites demand.

  • Aaron B.

    Oh man, looks like Chris blew up. Congrats on the gig!

  • guest

    I stumbled upon this site through Grantland and it is great… really interesting stuff. As a football fan who (unfortunately) never played football on any level, what is a good resource for basic formations/offenses/defenses? I am fascinated by play-calling especially, but do not have any background in it. Thanks.

  • Stevesharik

    Congratulations, Chris!

  • Cheesehead

    Chris, what’s your take on the Green Bay offense?

  • srp

    Good first article. I’m sure you’ll be a big boost for Grantland.

  • Mr.Murder

    Beating the blitz is beating air. Open grass is the easiest read and if they are trailing in man or man under you better lead them away from the defenders.

    Beating a zone blitz is beating air. The space between defenders is where you and the target hook up.

    If your line protects you should get it out of your hand to the depth of the route in time to match protection. Done right, it might as well be against air.